This week’s posts will focus on things you could be doing to improve your life, instead of spending your time mindlessly scrolling through social media on your phone. This post was inspired by the book I’m currently reading, Off the Clock
, by Laura Vanderkam and my own recent experience.
This passage from the book stuck with me when I read it:
“The truth is that we take at least ten minute breaks in normal life anyway. We just fill this time by deleting emails or we scroll through social media or putter around our houses. Then this doesn’t register as leisure time. Consciously lingering in pleasurable down time reminds us that we have down time and that can make us feel like we have more time than when we let it slip through our hands.”
When I started this blog I knew that I had an hour a day that I was spending playing games, checking email, or social media on my phone. I also knew I had a message I wanted to share with the world and could use this time to do it. If you want to see how much time you are spending on your phone each day use the iOS screen time feature
, it’s under settings. On Android they call this digital wellbeing.
Today’s idea of something you could do with the time you generally spend on social media is, call someone. Yes, use your smart phone for it’s intended use, a telephone for a real time, two way communication.
Admit it, there are plenty of people in your life that you’re always thinking you wish you had time to catch up with. I mean really catch up with, not just see a carefully selected picture or two from their weekend and think you know what they’re doing.
Make today the day you call that old friend from college who’s pictures you always see on Instagram. Call that coworker that you used to go to lunch with but haven’t talk to you since they started their new job at a different company. Call your parents, they’re always happy to hear from you.
No matter who you choose to call you will be investing in that relationship. You will both feel more connected and that will likely lead to good things.
In her book Reclaiming Conversation, author Sherry Turkle, explains the downward spiral we are careening down as we rely increasingly more on electronic communication. When we text and email rather than talk we decrease empathy by up to 40% and we loose the ability to “read” all the nonverbal queues face to face communication offers. This lack of practicing face to face communication then makes us more likely to avoid it in the future.
An example of this is elevators. When was the last time you talked to a stranger on an elevator? Remember when marketing gurus used to tell people to practice their elevator pitch? Now a days you would never consider buying anything from a person crazy enough to actually talk to people on an elevator.
So next time you find yourself reaching for your phone looking to kill ten minutes keeping up with shallow connections, go deep! Use your phone as a phone, call someone, and start building a more meaningful relationship.